Miss a year and you’d miss a lot. People often ask me if it’s necessary to go to the California Pack Trials every year. If your job is to be at the forefront of all the new developments in annuals, perennials, marketing programs and global supply, then I would say yes. Fortunately for me, it is my job and we look forward to presenting you with comprehensive coverage each year and are always looking for new ways to do just that.
My traveling companions were our Contributing Editor Dr. Allan Armitage of the University of Georgia and our Group Publisher Bob West. We had a great time filming about 100 Flip videos we’re still sorting through and editing. Many are already posted on GGTV.
We visited nearly 30 flower breeders and propagators from all over the world between San Jose and San Diego, March 28-April 4. In addition to American companies, many of which are based in California, breeders and producers from as far as Japan, Israel, Germany, Denmark, England and Holland camp out for a couple of weeks and make a pretty substantial investment in this event. Many exhibit at plug and liner operations.
At the breeder level, this past year has been a big one for consolidation and vertical integration:
- Syngenta Flowers acquired Goldsmith Seeds and the mum and aster lines from Yoder Brothers, along with the Yoder brand.
- Selecta has aligned itself with Ball Horticultural Co. as the exclusive broker for unrooted cuttings in North America.
- Ball purchased Dutch breeder Kieft Seeds.
- Bodger sold key seed lines to Benary and its vegetative division Bodger Botanicals to Sales and Marketing Director Steve Jones, who has started a new company called Green Fuse Botanicals.
Read all about the latest developments, innovations and varieties inside this handy guide.